Judith Collins versus Radio New Zealand’s so called “experts”
National Party leader Judith Collins made the quite reasonable assertion that racism is not the cause of perceived ill health among “Maori” so Radio NZ apparently went running to find someone to challenge this claim. This is what Ms Collins said-
“There is nothing in being Māori that intrinsically makes anyone more in need in the health system, and we could also say the same about Pasifika, we could also say the same in particularly Indian New Zealanders – it is important that we have solutions that work in communities, but they will not be based on someone’s ethnicity and it can’t be.”
A statement that seems quite reasonable. In fact, its something that should have been said by the National Party a long time ago in respect of many other such apartheid projects, but let’s leave that aside for now.
Radio NZ’s so called journalist Meriana Johnsen tracked down Te Puna Ora Mataatua chief executive Chris Tooley for a counter view. (For those who prefer English, the organisation is apparently a healthcare provider supporting the community with family-based health, social, and wellness programs). Mr Tooley claimed Ms Collins had ignored New Zealand’s colonial past-
“Judith just doesn’t get the point. Māori have suffered through a colonial context and systematic injustices and smoking or alcohol or any kind of addiction is just a response to having experienced that kind of trauma. Time and time again Māori have been targeted when it comes to advertising, they’ve been targeted when it comes to the supply of these kinds of substances, so it’s no wonder that they experience the current inequalities in our health system.”
Can we analyse this from a plain speaking point of view? There are a number of phrases in there that are difficult to understand. What is a “colonial context”? What are “systemic injustices”? What was the “trauma”? Maori are targeted by advertising? AFAIK, its against the law to advertise cigarettes and alcohol. (and amphetamines as well) What are the “current inequalities”?
The truth is that these phrases are mostly devoid of real meaning. It is typical divisive Marxist speak. Identified by the fact that when you study it to any degree, it says nothing rational or fact based, but is designed to trigger an emotional response. In this case to turn one race against another.
Mr Tooley’s claims of inequality are easily discredited by one simple logical fact.
New Zealand spends around $6000 per head on health. Not one dollar is specifically targeted to any racial group outside Maori (and Pacifica). In other words, there is discrimination, but its to the advantage of Maori and to the disadvantage of every other race in the country.
The inequalities that Mr Toohey speaks of are a Marxist myth. Judith Collins wins the debate hands down.